Icelandic authorities have announced that all vaccinated people who have recovered from COVID-19 must submit a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test (RAT) taken within 72 hours before arriving in the country, starting Tuesday, July 27.
According to a government press release, this decision was made by the Minister of Health, following the recommendation of the Icelandic epidemiologist, TheSchengen.com reports.
The authorities are also advising residents of Iceland who have acquaintances across the country to get tested on arrival, whether they are asymptomatic or not.
As noted by the note of the chief epidemiologist, COVID-19 infections in Iceland have recently increased, and most of the positive cases have been delta-type. According to ECDC’s assessment summary published June 23, the delta variant is 40 to 60 percent more transmissible than the original strain.
The press release also noted that “non-immunized individuals will still be required to submit negative PCR results for no more than 72 hours and undergo a double PCR assay with a five-day quarantine in between.”
Children 16 years of age or younger will continue to be exempt from all border restrictions.
Iceland previously announced that it recognizes all eight vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as the following list indicates:
Comirnaty – Pfizer / BioNTech Vaxzevria – AstraZeneca AstraZeneca / SK Bio Vaccine AstraZeneca (Covishield), Serum Institute of India Janssen – Cilag International Spikevax; mRNA – 1273, Moderna Biotech Vero Cell – Sinopharm / Beijing Institute of Biological Products Sinovac-CoronaVac (Vero Cell), Sinovac Life Sciences
Although this is not approved by the EMA, the country is among the very few European countries that recognize the Covishield vaccine.
Passengers arriving in Iceland must submit documents in Icelandic, English, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or French. Documents in other languages may be accepted as long as they are provided with an additional certified translation in one of the languages listed above.
Iceland started implementing the EU COVID-19 digital vaccination passport by the beginning of June and completed it on July 1. The document was created in an effort to provide safe and free movement across the European Union amid the pandemic.
However, the country kept its border measures in place until July 1, following the recommendation of the chief epidemiologist, according to which the requirement for screening at airports will end, immediately after the country ended quarantine requirements for hotels.
According to WHO data, Iceland has reported no deaths linked to the effects of COVID-19 and 179 cases of the virus in the last 24 hours.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, the country has seen 30 coronavirus deaths and 7,233 positive cases.
Our World in Data reveals that 71.1 percent of the Icelandic population has been fully vaccinated (253,666), while 267,830 people have received the first vaccination with the COVID vaccine (75 percent).